Architects try to put their own spin on a Deftones classic.
Architects are no strangers to covers. Back during the ‘Daybreaker‘ era, they had a cover of Thrice’s ‘Of Dust & Nations‘, a mixed bag whose only real similarity is using the same name and lyrics, with the original containing way more soul. For a Rock Sound compilation a few years back, they covered Slipknot’s ‘Wait and Bleed‘, which at the very best, wasn’t half-bad. Then, more recently in 2017, the band covered Nirvana’s ‘Territorial Pissings‘, a cover that most people shat their pants over simply because it was Architects covering Nirvana. Despite the fact that Comeback Kid’s cover of the same Nirvana song is the superior take – one containing far more rhythmic drive and punk rock energy too. I mention all of this because just last week, as apart of their new Spotify singles release, Architects covered a Deftones classic, ‘Change (In The House Of Flies)‘. And it’s… fine.
Architects themselves are big Deftones fans and it’s clear that this new rendition comes from a real place of love, honouring their heroes and all that. Recorded live at Abbey Road Studios in London, whilst the unforgettable main riff is spot-on and the vocal effects during the verses are indeed accurate, the cover is played a little faster than the original was tracked. The string arrangement for this Architects rendition, while a nice new dynamic touch that’s in keeping with the sound and songwriting of 2018’s ‘Holy Hell‘, does over-power some of the cover’s other elements and feels a little off in the chorus. Also, while Sam Carter isn’t at all a bad singer, he is a very different singer to that of Deftones frontman, Chino Moreno. As such, their version here doesn’t translate the same way. He does his best to channel that same raspy, intimate quality, but it just doesn’t have the same pull nor the same level of emotion as the original piece Deftones put together 19 years ago.
‘Change (In The House Of Flies)‘ is also a quintessential Deftones track; THE Deftones track, one could well argue. It’s a song that transcends the band in a big way, even going far beyond the record that it’s culled from too, 2000’s ‘White Pony‘. It’s like bands trying to cover ‘New Noise‘ by Refused; the original is still so good and still so relevant, that anyone else trying to put their own stamp on it automatically makes it a lesser product. Some songs just do not need to be covered, even with the purest of intentions. And I think this is a good example of that.
It’s also odd to me that this song, in particular, was selected. I’m honestly not sure how Spotify and bands work together for these kinds of live session single releases, and if the streaming platform imparts recommendations for which songs are to be covered, but surely there are other Deftones songs that would better fit Architects‘ core sound better. Cuts like ‘Elite‘, ‘My Own Summer‘, ‘CMND/CTRL‘, ‘Engine No. 9‘ (which Suicide Silence really nailed back in the day), and even ‘Hexagram‘, for instance. There’s plenty of deep cuts that could’ve worked better for the U.K. metalcore acts sound. Don’t get me wrong, I applaud Architects for trying to step outside their own box when it comes to covering songs, but just because you can do something, doesn’t always mean that you should.
Anyway, that’s my personal takeaway. Check out both live sessions of ‘Death Is Not Defeat‘ and Architects‘ own spin on a Deftones classic below: